How to Can Fish in a Pressure Cooker

Here is the step by step instructions for canning salmon or tuna.  I do both and trust me once you can your own tuna, you will never again eat regular tuna in the can at the grocery store.

This is an beautiful piece of Tuna
This is an beautiful piece of Tuna

Each step is very important, so to make sure you do not get sick or blow your kitchen up follow the instructions exactly.

  • Wash 24 jars in warm water or in dishwasher
  • Pack fish in jars and leave about 1/2 inch of head space
  • Add to top tuna or salmon 1/4 tea spoon canning salt and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (do not add salt to any smoked fish, it has plenty from the brine)
  • Wipe the rim of the jar clean with a towel.  My wife keeps the towels with the pressure cooker because the towels will stink even after you wash them.
  • August 2013 038
    I add one slice of Jalepeno and Garlic to the jars for Tuna
  • Add 2 quarts of warm water into the pressure cooker and put a metal spacer that came with the pressure cooker on the bottom.
  • Leave 1/4 inch of head spacing when putting fish into jars
    Leave 1/4 inch of head spacing when putting fish into jars
  • Place 8 lids into seperate pot of boiling water, not the rings just the lids.  This softens the rubber seal of the lid.  Only boil for about 2 minutes.
  • Put the lid onto the jar and hand tighten (not too tight just snug) the ring.
  • Put the hot lids on each piece, three at a time and screw the top on nice and snug, do not over tighten.
    Put the hot lids on each piece, three at a time and screw the top on nice and snug, do not over tighten.
  • Put 8 jars in the bottom of the pressure cooker and layer with another metal spacer
  • Repeat up too three layers
  • Close lid and turn burner on high
  • Allow to cook on high with the steam cap off and bring to hard boil.  Watch the steam vent tube when it begins steaming hard set timer for 10 minutes so it steams hard for 10 minutes
  • Place steam cap on vent tube and reduce heat a little.  Watch for pressure to rise to 10 lbs..  Reduce heat to low and hold 10 lbs for 1 hour and 40 minutes (100 minutes).  Try and hold pressure at 10 lbs and keep checking it because it will go up and down and will need adjusting.
  • August 2013 039
  • After you reach the end of cooke time, turn off burner.  DO NOT REMOVE THE HEAT VENT CAP OR LID.  Allow the big vent tab to fall and pressure to go down to 0.  This is very important!
  • Allow to cool down until little vent cap in front falls form the lack of pressure in the cooker.  DO NOT REMOVE THE LID EARLY.  YOU WILL BE BURNED SEVERELY IF YOU DO.
  • Remove lid but lift away as steam will be released into your face if you tilt it towards you.
  • Remove the jars to an old towel on counter top.
  • During and after cooling the jar lids will pop  as they seal.  When the jars are cool take a warm soapy washcloth and wipe the jars as they will be oily.  The fish has a lot of oil in naturally.  You can remove the rings to wipe the jars down.
  • Check the jars to make sure they have good seal by pressing on the lid, if it pops go ahead and eat it but do not store it!  You must refrigerate and it will keep for a week.
  • I use personal stickers, with my logo to let the people know I love them when I give them for gifts
    I use personal stickers, with my logo to let the people know I love them when I give them for gifts

28 Comments on “How to Can Fish in a Pressure Cooker

  1. Are you using the All American pressure cooker? I’ve been reading reviews and they say it’s a great buy. What are your thoughts on it?

  2. Great instructions and easy to follow. Can you use vacuum packed and frozen tuna six to nine months old for canning?

  3. By concentrating on your breath you can control your wandering mind and
    bring it to the present moment. Let’s talk about pressure for a moment: Pressure is measured using
    pounds per square inch, or PSI. Canning plain vegetables in a pressure cooker takes a fair amount of cooking
    time, thus leaving veggies a little limp and blah, so pickling is a great answer to preserving these vegetables.

  4. is the skin left on or removed before canning salmon

  5. I have done it both ways. But I prefer the skin off. Great question. Sorry it took so long to answer.

  6. Hey Margaret. I do not know, but I think so. I think they all work the same, but I bought it at Bi-Mart about ten years ago and have never had a problem with it. I have also canned about a 100 times with it.

    Hunting Chef

  7. Thank you. Easy and good. Tried your lemon juice, as before I used a bit of catsup.

  8. Love your instructions… What size jars did you use? I want to use 1/4 pint jars… Do you see a problem with this?

  9. David,
    Yes, as long as you don’t see freezer burn on the on the meat, but you can cut that off and can it. Go for it!

  10. Margaret,
    I don’t even know….I bought it 20 years ago. I can tell you that it works flawlessly but I am not sure if I could tell a good one from a great one. I’m just boiling water in it, and it measures the pressure.
    Hope that helps.

  11. Will this work for Tilapia as well? Any different instructions?

  12. Do you pack the tuna with water in the jar? Or just put the tuna in the jar as tight as possible?

  13. Thats a great question Bruce. I know it would be safe to eat, however, I am not sure how the product would turn out because Tilapia is pretty thin and not as firm as meat as Tuna. I would definitely try it and see what happens. What do you plan to do with canned Tilapia?

  14. can you start out canning with frozen fish in the jars

  15. A little splash of sesame oil in the tuna is delicious also!

  16. Brenda, great question. I usually cut my fish semi frozen, then thaw it in the jars as I do all my preparation.

  17. Just a little hint that a family member taught me because we can suckers every spring, add a good splash of vinegar to the water in the pressure cooker. It will help keep you jars clean and from getting that foggy look.

  18. Only comment I have is wipe rims with paper towel no need to ruin a towel! 🙂great instructions through easy to follow

  19. Hi, I think that this page is terrific! I live in Newport OR (Southbeach), and its Tuna time…Where are you located? Where is the picture at the top of the page taken? Wondering because I lived in Kodiak AK for close to a couple decades, will always miss AK. It is my first home…I don’t know any hunters here, in Newport, Toledo area maybe you can help? Newport is the best that I can do for now, and it is Beautiful! Thanks again, Sarah J Hungry

  20. I lightly smoke my salmon then can half pints with 1/2 tbsp. olive oil, to dry without oil. great to eat or make dip

  21. Do need to add lemon juice if you are canning smoked fish?

  22. 1/2 inch headspace? I’m new to canning but everything I’ve have read says leave 1 inch headspace for fish?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: